Despite my attempts not to judge, the presence of Weekend Markets is accompanied by stereotypes difficult to shudder – foreigners, yuppies, foodies, health-conscious moms, hipsters and the social climbers. For me, Weekend Markets are the Rolls-Royce of Palengkes. I wasn’t sure if I need to keep going to Weekend Markets in the middle of a posh city like Makati. I was apprehensive about the idea as I’ve always thought that it only caters to classy-rich urban dwellers, celebrities and the expats (Foreign workers). It irks me to think about the pretensions and the pricey-luxurious stuff they offer. Yes, Pretensions! I’ve also hated the word Organic mainly because I cannot justify the prices, then the whole craze of Organic products. Seriously? Can you ever prove what is organic and not? Do you ever need to get laboratory gadgets just to prove it before you can even cook and enjoy your meal? But don’t get me wrong, I get the principle behind it. I’ve never been one who is fussy about how and where my food came from. I don’t intend to know how and where they were being grown and processed as they all look like and tasted like what they should- like garlic from China is a real garlic, for God’s sake.
Curiosity was a a good excuse for me and a Palengkenita friend to navigate the Weekend Market at the center of Makati’s skyscrapers for the third time- the Salcedo Weekend Market. In the spirit of honesty, I may fall one of the stereotypes mentioned after visiting this classy market.
Traversing the Salcedo Saturday Market, however, has completely changed how I view weekend markets. Despite the pretensions mentioned above, I came to realize the core of what Weekend Market is, it provides an easy yet direct approach to obtain one of the most important piece for living – food. The Salcedo Weekend Market lets you choose from wide array of food the welcoming vendors have to offer . Lured away from my trepidation, the place is packed, full of tempting delights from macaroons to cakes to the selection of gastronomic-goodness of pork, chicken and seafood. The site hosts more than 100 vendors that offers fresh organic produce, yogurt, fresh fruit juice, seafood, crêpe, pizza, pasta, etc. No matter what your taste and nationality, there is a bit of everything at this market – Filipino, Italian, Asian, Mediterranean, or Middle-eastern food. Global Gourmet is what it is.
Tempting Bull Lechon!
For Singaporean Chili Crab!
Oh, how I love the Thai Crunchy Salad. The sauce is made up of rice vinegar, ginger, cayenne pepper, fish sauce, soy sauce, garlic, ground peanut, onions, olive oil, coriander, cumin and other spices I might not be able to pronounce. By the way, I just made up some of those ingredients.
And this yummy glazed-ham.
Colorful Sweet Macaroons!
Going back to my argument about pretensions, one of the top reasons farmers market get an elitist aura is the premise they are more pricey than ordinary markets. Gladly, as I wander the area, this is not the case. Take for instance the enormous tuna belly with rice meal we shared with Palengkenita, it only cost me P140.00 which is almost intended for 2, we just needed to buy an extra rice. The fruits and vegetables are reasonably priced, it might be a little bit higher than in the typical markets maybe because it is a once-in a week activity- considering the cost of inconvenience and transportation – some comes from as far as Tagaytay, and the fees they pay to organizers. The premium you pay is for the best quality and availability of rare food and products. To test the quality of the products before buying, vendors even encourage you for free food tasting, sniffing or maybe skin tests for some natural beauty products. For only P65, Citronella Essential oil is a great find. The vendor gladly explained why all her products are all natural, and how they are processed. Vendors here are really friendly and accommodating.
Lovely fruits and vegies on display!
The fruits and vegetables were all looking very much “farm fresh” and seemed to be moving like hot cakes. Okay, I ate my words, I don’t need to be an anti-chemical to not like the idea of Organic produce and products. Most of the vendors are committed to promoting healthful eating and providing the best and freshest products from small and individual owned farms. When vendors label their products as organics, they say they are required to disclose their “growing practices” or methods used for soil fertility and pest control. Vendors disclosed the ingredients only permitted to classify their products as natural. They explained the benefits of consuming organic produce. Besides, I do not want to ingest pesticides, fungicides or synthetic fertilizers in my sacred body. I get that. I guess I just need to pay a premium for it.
Wheat grass for the health buffs.
All natural beauty products.
Summery Star Apple!
My friend-Palengkenita can’t get enough of this unfamiliar yet tasty fruit.
At first, I pictured weekend markets like a Gossip Girls sanctuary, market for the the upper class, or for filthy-rich spinsters engaging in destructive conversations. However, I think I should be defining Social Climber in a good way when referring to a place like Salcedo Weekend Market. It is not about the social status at all, people visit this place to chat, make friends, meet new neighbors, feed their mind, and observe. You can talk to vendors about their products, discuss with friends about the goodness of your food- how it was made and where it came from, talk about about social issues and what have you. You can talk anything while enjoying the stroll or eating your food. All these activities I say is part of social interactions. After all, being a social climber in this context is not at all terrible.
I made a good laugh and enjoyed the food with Palengkenita. We shared a whole roasted Bangus and a big chunk of Tuna Belly paired with ice-cold Coke and Dalandan Juice. We also tried the Thai Salad and a morsel of expensive Mango Crepe.
I can’t end the tour without sampling the Market’s specialty!
Hey, I meant the mushroom he sells.
And this super fresh produce.
I was wrong after all. For sure, I will still visit this place, so join me next time.